Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Michael M. Gottleib

Abstract

Historical research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its influence on corporate financial and social results arrived at contradictory findings. Although 95% of the world's 250 largest corporations reported investing in CSR activities in 2011, some managers lack strategies to evaluate CSR effectiveness. This multiple case study explored strategies that 6 CSR managers with CSR oversight in privately owned companies in Brazil used to effectively enact CSR. The stakeholder theory was the conceptual framework for this study. Data were collected through individual interviews and supplemented with company annual reports to explore the strategies managers employed to evaluate CSR effectiveness. Member checking sessions helped to validate the data. The data analysis consisted of coding and grouping key words to identify themes. Seven themes emerged from the findings. Key themes revealed: leadership proactively communicate their CSR activities, economic and social returns are difficult to measure, and personal values and beliefs of CSR managers influence decisions. Key findings include stakeholder management is gradually becoming a significant component of corporate strategy, and half of the CSR managers acted independently of stakeholders prior to making decisions on CSR expenditures. The implications for social change include addressing stakeholders' needs in ways that create vibrant communities, contributing to social cohesion; respect for human rights; enhanced social commitment; and support for environmentally sustainable practices.